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February 1, 2022
Vol. 79
No. 5

Tell Us About

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Readers share ways they've seen inequity disrupted in their schools.

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Breaking Barriers to Advanced Courses

We had a low rate of students of color enrolled in advanced classes. To remedy this, we pulled together a leadership team, crafted new guidelines for entrance into honors classes, and presented them to the faculty, students, and parents. After one summer of applying these new guidelines, we eliminated the disproportionately low enrollment of students of color in honors classes. Even better, 91 percent of those enrolled in new honors classes earned As or Bs at the first marking period.
Kambar Khoshaba, principal, Chesapeake Public Schools, Chesapeake, Virginia

The Power of Partnerships

Listening to Carla Harris's Ted Talk "How to Find the Person Who Can Help You Get Ahead at Work" made me think about how sponsors could assist in disrupting inequities in school. Partnering with community organizations offers students rich internships, dedicated mentors, and skilled apprenticeship opportunities. These experiences provide underrepresented populations access to career pathways while improving workforce readiness and can lead to new relationships and connections.
The vision of this program directly opposes destructive, long-standing exclusionary pipelines and promotes financial and academic success for future generations.
Jana Haywood, EdD, principal, Ritenour School District, St. Louis, Missouri

A Unified District

Approximately 75 student leaders from across our district gathered in late October for Unity Day. Unity Day, a project of the district's Diversity Task Force, is organized and led by students to develop their leadership skills, ensure administrators and educators hear student voices across the district, make connections, and reinforce the notion that all students are part of a unified community.
The morning featured a keynote address by three student leaders who spoke on the topic of what unity means to them. Their comments reinforced the idea that we are more alike than different and encouraged students to work together to advocate for the changes they want to see in their schools and community. After the morning session, which featured performances by a cheerleading squad from all four district schools, the students worked in smaller groups with fellow student leaders as facilitators.
Unity Day is not a culminating event, but rather a starting point. Each school team is challenged to implement the ideas and ideals of Unity Day with the peers in their buildings.
Joseph Jones, superintendent, New Castle County Vocational Technical School District, Wilmington, Delaware
Share your responses to upcoming questions at www.ascd.org/tellusabout.

EL’s experienced team of writers and editors produces Educational Leadership magazine, an award-winning publication that reaches hundreds of thousands of K-12 educators and leaders each year. Our work directly supports the mission of ASCD: To empower educators to achieve excellence in learning, teaching, and leading so that every child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. 

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